Petal Powered

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Ohhhhhh, I loved your comments on the last post. Loved them. Thank you, thank you. Little poems. I was right there. I dusted off my perfume bottles and wore honeysuckle on Sunday and it was a delight. Such a little thing. Thank you for taking the time to write.

Such a fairy dusting of blossoms and blooms we have had this week, as our plum tree flowers and the city sprouts. There is every kind of weather — sunshine, rain, wind, sunshine, rainbow, hail the size of peas (which Andy scooped into a cup and Amelia ate with dinner), clouds, heat, cold. Everything. Spring is storybookish here, and it's impossible not to love every minute of it. I love the beginning before the beginning, and this is it.

When I'm not outside, I'm sewing, sewing. Dresses appear like dandelions — not here in the morning, out on the lawn by lunchtime. Martha took pictures of all of the fabric she's sending and I said yes or no to each; later I realized that almost all of them were in the patchwork pillow she gave me for my birthday! Pretty calicos. I splurged and bought some new fabrics, too — linens and lawns and double gauzes for bloomers and smocks and Easter and Birthmother's and Mother's Day. Ribbons I just wanted to have. I spent my free hour yesterday going through my (quite extensive) vintage pattern collection, matching patterns with fabrics and trying to get sort of a well-rounded wardrobe will last through summer, and last into size four, as well. She's three, but I keep sewing into size four, refusing to pre-wash my fabrics and hoping everything will shrink just a bit to make it work for a while. The light blue dress at the top is from Martha's '80s stash, sewn with McCall's #3470 from 1972. I made the neckline into a rounded one, and added a ruffle made from a 22" strip of fabric that I edged with the scallop stitch on my machine. I'd seen this done on some of the French sewing blogs and thought it looked really pretty. It came out nice except that I think my ruffle strip needed to be longer and gathered a bit more, because it really wanted to flip up on her. I finished the back with a continuous lap and a snap. Getting that whole snap maker kit for size 14 snaps with the decorative snaps (pink, green, blue, and yellow) is turning out to be one of the best things I ever bought. I think I originally got it for baby bibs. But I'm loving it for the backs of dresses, and it's actually really fun to do the snaps with the hammer, etc. I put the snap right under the neck binding.

The golden daisy dress is baby wale corduroy, so soft, made from my standby peasant pattern, vintage Simplicity 4719. I like the way the arms and neck is cut on this — not too full, though the dress itself is full. I added a belt — more on this below. I added pockets, because m'lady has requested that every dress have pockets. For flowers, rocks, acorns, berries, rose hips, and her leftover sopping wet cinnamon roll from the bakery.

The navy dress is such cute fabric (by Elizabeth Olwen and called "Go Your Own Way" — I'm not the only one having a Stevie moment, yay), also baby wale corduroy. Perfect for just exactly this time of year, when it's still a bit chilly but you want flowers. The pattern is McCall's #2997 from 1971, and it has a front tab and two front pockets (which are hard to see). It had a tie belt, that tied in back, but that seemed like folly to me; there's no way she would keep that on, and would be sitting on it, etc. I made a little belt that was a continuous ring, gathered along the back, that slips over her head and sits around her tummy. She didn't like that either and only kept this on for about a minute. I broke my new rules with this dress — it has a zipper, it has set-in sleeves, it has a wide hem. But instead of lining the yoke I finished the neck with some vintage bias tape that was the perfect color blue, and in my stash was a vintage zipper that was also the perfect shade of blue, so, what can you do.

My sweet little hand-dyed bunting is from Sugarhouse Workshop, and those little lavender sprigs I picked up at JoAnn's the other day for a song. And we got the loveliest package all the way from Niina in Finland the other day. Amelia's been happily playing with Moomins and postcards and licorice nibs for three days. Mud on her hand, flowers in her hair. Spring is so good.

51 comments

Can you hear the breeze-like sound?
It is the sighing... the happy sound of everyone who's delighting in this beautiful post.

Oh, the picture of your precious girl among the petals on the sidewalk...it is magic! What an uplifting and beautiful post. Thank you.

You have captured the beauty of spring in childhood so well. Oh to be twirling among the blossom leaves in the sunshine again! I guess I could try but it may not be so effective dancing around a walking stick!! The dresses are adorable, I find myself wishing my 18 year old was a toddler again so I could dress in vintage style dresses! Thanks for such a cheerful post :-)

What a beauty that girl of yours is! And that hair - gorgeous.
I love all the dresses you make her. They're all so sweet with the prettiest fabrics.
Enjoy these whispers of spring.

I absolutely loved this post. Your photography is stunning and captures your life in the most intimate, special way. Thank you for always finding such wonderful ways to share your life with us. Darling dresses you've made as well. xx

It hit me today that it's already March and spring is just around the corner! I'm loving those flowery fabrics and I'm jealous they're not in my closet! I've caught the spring sewing bug and have two skirts and a dress on the sewing table right now. My first time lining something. Wish me luck!

I love how the colours outside are reflected in your decor and clothes! sooo beautiful!

We just moved into a tiny home that has been 3 years in the re-building... & I'm SO excited to start sewing again!!! First up, curtains. After that... the sky's the limit! This has given me a new desire to sew for my two babies... I can't wait until Miss T is pulling herself up.. she'll look so cute in little old-fashioned dresses! :-)

She's just a little magnet:) her hair is prettier and prettier..and yes easels are to climb on:) At one point w/ her hand up..she almost looks like she is saying:"no more photos please"~
We are far from buds and blooms but seeing yours gets me excited.
Love the child size dress form? not sure the proper name for it..

It is an exciting pre-Spring, Spring on the southeast side of town, too, and my little grand girls have already brought in a second bunch of Daffodils for us to enjoy. Can you hear frogs near your home? Our froggy chorus out by the ponds has been getting more boisterous in the last few weeks. Your flurry of sweet sewing for Amelia is delightful to see. Thanks for posting, Alicia xx

Oh, everything is so pretty! I can just smell it. Dear Spring, come here soon and take my cold away with you.

Yummy quilt and dresses. Beautiful photos, as always.

Also, we've been looking for a bed like that for our softies! Where did you find it?

Everything is so wonderful!!! Love all the dresses!! I love all the posies too!

I love the dresses, but even more I LOVE that you let her eat hail...

Now I'm thinking about getting a snap maker but I can't find where you talked about yours. Also, how do I know what size I want to use? Thanks for your help!

I love your sewn dresses. I have five daughters and spent millions of hours smocking dresses for them loving every moment of it. My local quilt shows no longer sell cute tiny floral prints. When I find them I purchase before dreaming the dress or design. We are 3 feet under snow ( Canada) so seeing your blossoms is delightful.

Happy Spring! My fig tree it busting to get outside (it's spent its 3rd winter in my garage. I want to get it outside before it sets its first fruit. I need to prune my blackberry bushes and butterfly weed that I neglected last fall. Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

There is something so endearing about spotting a pile of library books in somebody else's home. I don't know why, but it is. So many lovely things in your post today. Hooray for spring in the Northwest!!

I love that photo of your fabric splurge! It looks so much like a pile of fabric in my house right now. I'm making a quilt that's all seersuckers, ginghams, flowers, berries, birds, eyelets, lattice and lace prints, and various textured shirtings in pinks, purples, light blues, and white. It is so much sweeter than all my usual tastes but it's making me giddy. It's like an ice cream parlor with a garden outside. I love all those fun textured fabrics.

Hi,
I feel like I've stalked this blog long enough and its time to say hi :) I was saying something to my daughter Katie about my favourite blog 'Posie Gets Cosy' and she said, have you ever left a comment mum? and I replied "No" and I realised its about time, so here I go...
I love your blog!!, pics, sewing, woolies, daughter, cooking, everything!!
Thank you for every lovely post. I've even enjoyed going through the archives, of when you were renovating the house. It's a place I love to come visit, especially when I'm tired and need some visual beauty after a long day.
Bless you and your lovely family,
Kind regards - Linda (New Zealand)

Kathy, FRANCE says: March 04, 2016 at 07:44 PM

Oh! That lovely needlecord fabric.....I remember at school we were required to buy needlecord fabric to make a jumper for needlework class....how I soooo.. wanted it......My Mum couldn't afford it so I had to take another fabric....which the teacher told me off for in front of the whole class ...because it was more likely to fray (mum's "it's brushed rayon" didn't seem to cut it)....imagine that nowadays???? It now gives me so much pleasure to buy the fabric I want....lol

Thanks Alicia for all the lovely 'keep us sane' posts...really appreciated x x x

What a lovely springtime pictures. I love all the little flowers. Here in Holland we are not as far yet, but it will come in a months time.
You made your daugher beautifull dresses
Have a nice weekend, Manon

Good Morning,
I love reading your posts. Thank-you for sharing all of your beautiful photos. I've been under the weather this week & this post really brightened my day. Have a lovely weekend.

Elizabeth says: March 05, 2016 at 05:06 AM

I love the fabric underneath the gifts from your friend in Finland. A bedspread? Or a tablecloth, maybe? Do you remember where you bought it? It looks like springtime to me... a sort of hippy-ish springtime. (= love it.

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.